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Ilhan Omar Defends LGBTQ Palestinians' Protests in West Bank

Ilhan Omar
Wikimedia Commons

The congresswoman also slammed Israel in the process.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar rushed to the defense of LGBTQ Palestinians who want to organize in the West Bank.

The Minnesota Democrat shared a message from alQaws, a Palestinian organization fighting for sexual and gender minorities, listing "5 Ways to Support Palestinian Queers."

"Right wing media asking us about this, can you listen up and amplify it correctly!," Omar wrote on Twitter.

Omar, one of two Muslim women in Congress, said Americans should offer support to LGBTQ activists overseas. The move came a day after Palestinian police vowed to stop alQaws from holding events this month and vowed to arrest organizers who "pursue a gathering."

"LGBTQ rights are human rights and we should condemn any effort to infringe upon them," Omar wrote.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American and the only other Muslim women ever elected to Congress, also retweeted the alQaws post, along with a supporting message from the Adalah Justice Project, a Palestinian Human Rights organization.

But Omar, who has been criticized for remarks perceived as anti-Semitic, also leveled criticisms at Israel in her statement.

"Pretending that this act somehow balances or mitigates Israel violating the dignity & rights of Palestinians - or undermines case for defending Palestinian rights - is deplorable!" she wrote.

"But we should also condemn any effort to equate this with the occupation or use this as a distraction," Omar continued.

Both Omar and Tlaib recently were at the center of friction with Israel. The Israeli government said it would deny entry to the congresswomen into the country. Several LGBTQ members of Congress spoke out last week on the two Muslim congresswomen's behalf.

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